6Ps results in drinking Instant Egg Nog at Christmas
My father was, like yours, the smartest man I ever knew. He had master's degrees in math and engineering, was a pilot in the Air Force, worked for NASA, was a database, photography, and small business guru. Despite battling cancer for 11 years, he made the best of his years.
One day while driving around doing nothing, he threw out that some event we had just witnessed was the perfect example of the "6 Ps". Being very young, when I asked what that meant, he smirked and calmly stated, "Piss Poor Planning leads to Piss Poor Performance." This was many years(ahem... decades) prior to the invention of WikiPedia, but here's their take: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6_Ps.
For many years, I've lived my life without regard to the 6P concept, but had always prided myself on my organizational skills and diligence to keeping things arranged to continue being usuable, repeatable, and/or maintainable. Put tools, credit cards, and keys back in the same place immediatley so that you always know where they are.
Planning through the ages
The older I got, the more involved I've become with processes, and the creation, automation, and improvement of them. As I go through what is now my daily life as an employee and small business owner, everyday is a contant struggle to improve every part of those facets by reviewing, analyzing, improving, refactoring, reenginering, and overt-thinking every step to ensure that value, efficiency, profit, and/or personal satisfaction are maximized. In order for any of this to work, there must be planning. Analysis, planning, and execution repeated over and over again until the goal is obtained.
Although, from what I can tell from watching others (take Kitchen Nightmares for example) there are people in the world that assume that if you build it, they will come and then all the food will order itself, cook itself, serve itself, and pay for itself. Other people believe that putting the car in Drive is the same as pumping the tank full of gas. I watch these people try to function and just shake my head and think about their ongoing living examples of 6P.
So, if you're not one those people that understands the importance of planning, take these words to heart, as there is hope for you.
"Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail"
I don't know who invented this, but they are a genius. Before you do anything, make a plan to do it. For example, at Sunday dinner, ask the family what's happening in the upcoming week. There's nothing worse than learning about a child's chorus recital on the day of it, and then you have to rush home from work, get a speeding ticket, and then you arrive late and miss the crucial moment... does this sound familiar? Just 5 minutes at the dinner table and everything would've been completely different, right?
Your next big task at work, take a few minutes every morning, and every afternoon, to figure out the importance, priority, and level of effort of what is to come. Keep notes of where you are, where you were, and where you're headed. What resources need mobilized, what parts need ordered, what money needs to be in which account, whatever it is, think about it before it's needed.
All this being said, I found myself drinking Instant Egg Nog on Christmas this year, because by the time I made it to the grocery store, Christmas Eve at 3pm, all the cartons of liquid Nog were safely in the fridges of those that made a list, checked it twice, and executed their plan.
Fortunately, the liquor store always plans to never run out of whiskey.